Pikmin 4 is the long-awaited entry for, for my part, Nintendo’s most underrated franchise. Significantly, it’s prison how a lot time goes by between titles for as good a sequence as Pikmin. 9 years between Pikmin 2 and three, after which ten years between 3 and 4.
However when trying on the timetable, it’s no surprise why curiosity within the sequence isn’t bolstered as a lot as with The Legend of Zelda or Metroid. A number of console generations cross with out Pikmin represented, resulting in a gradual decline in curiosity within the IP.
But, with the Swap’s immense success and the sweetness that’s Pikmin 4, possibly the tiny spacefarers and plant-like aliens will lastly obtain the love they deserve.
- Developer – Nintendo EPD
- Platforms – Nintendo Swap
- Launch Date – July 21, 2023
- Value – $59.99/€59.99
Modernizing A Cult Traditional
At its roots, Pikmin 4 is a standard Pikmin sport, even all the way down to its story of rescuing yet one more stranded area captain. You’re a lone rescuer who controls a big group of Pikmin, preventing vicious monsters, turning them into vitamins for the onions, gathering treasures, and blazing your method via every zone.
In case you’ve performed any of the earlier Pikmin video games, Pikmin 4 will really feel about as acquainted as tying your footwear. You fall again into the rhythm of time administration, troop administration, the ebb and stream of battle, and the stress of making an attempt to gather “one more treasure.”
There’s cave exploring, components of the map that will probably be blocked till you uncover extra Pikmin varieties, and every thing that’s had franchise followers fawning over the sequence for the higher a part of 20 years.
However Pikmin 4 does a little bit of much-needed modernization to make it really feel like the perfect entry within the franchise. For starters, you might have extra management over the digicam than in previous entries. This permits gamers to enter a 3rd particular person or a top-down view, or wherever in between. This does take some getting used to and may generally make aiming really feel wonky – particularly when battling movement controls – however over time, it turns into liberating.
You’re additionally partnered up with Oatchi – a dog-like companion that proves to be way more helpful than Louie. Oatchi not solely makes transporting items a bit simpler, however he additionally lets gamers take a extra energetic position in battle, one thing that felt lacking from previous titles. Usually, you throw your Pikmin at beasts and watch on the sidelines, however with Oatchi you’ll be able to deal with, stun, and even kill enemies with out utilizing any Pikmin.
You may journey on Oatchi, making traversing areas much more pleasing, which presents some distinctive problem-solving strategies that wouldn’t be doable in any other case. Like within the first space, the place you aren’t supposed to realize entry to Blue Pikmin fairly but – or so it appears – however through the use of Oatchi’s further carry weight, you’ll be able to escort the Blue Onion again to the ship with none aquatic Pikmin in your crew.
That’s one in every of my highest praises for Pikmin 4. The place previous entries felt very linear in the best way you remedy puzzles, Pikmin 4 feels extra malleable. There are a number of methods to beat obstacles or trench via caves, making me – the participant – really feel like an precise certified area rescuer.
On prime of that, permitting gamers to create their character initially of the sport is the icing on the cake. The character creator is a bit restricted, but it surely’s cute, and I really like taking a look at my dorky lil’ man in cutscenes. He might wrestle with the right lingo on occasion, however I wouldn’t have him every other method.
Rescue Mission or Metropolis Constructing Simulator?
A method Pikmin 4 departs from the franchise is the way it resets every day. In Pikmin 1-3, you’d finish the day, launch up into the stratosphere, and scroll via menus till you have been prepared in your subsequent expedition. However Pikmin 4 ditches the menus and permits gamers to hang around in a hub area the place the entire rescued castaways reside.
The better part is that they aren’t ineffective NPCs taking on area. Every castaway got here to the mysterious planet with a particular set of abilities, and also you unlock totally different missions and catalogs by rescuing them. Wish to unlock the bestiary? Nicely, it’s essential discover the unique animal lover first. It certain can be good to improve that go well with, huh? Higher rescue the inventor.
With every rescue, your camp feels increasingly alive, including layers of depth to the sport. Particularly, having the ability to improve your gear and Oatchi’s stats add an immeasurable quantity of gameplay range when in comparison with earlier Pikmin video games.
On the finish of the day, you might be doing the identical actions you have been previously three video games, however with much more flare, fashion, and quality-of-life adjustments than earlier than.
Similar Captain, Completely different Aesthetic
I really imagine Pikmin 4 is the perfect entry within the franchise, however I additionally assume it’s lacking among the most gripping undertones from Pikmin 1 & 2. Pikmin 3 type of departed from this more-serious, nearly melodramatic really feel and changed it with a lightheartedness that I’m not a fan of.
In Pikmin 2, you begin in a snowy tundra. You’re misplaced and aren’t certain what to do or the place to go. It seems like you need to claw your method again to some semblance of security, and that nervousness of survival by no means actually leaves you, regardless of how far you might be into the story.
Pikmin 4 doesn’t have that. As a substitute, it’s a reasonably cozy expertise with a number of forgiveness for those who falter. Heck, there’s even a rewind characteristic that saves you from any errors you need to rapidly back-peddle on.
This isn’t a foul factor outright. In actual fact, it makes the sequence a bit extra approachable. However I’d a lot somewhat want the dreary, edge-of-your-seat survival drama over the saturated, happy-go-lucky, go-team-go vibes of Pikmin 4.
That stated, the gorgeous surroundings and emotional compositions in Pikmin 4 are unmatched on the Nintendo Swap. In case you thought Tears of the Kingdom was visually beautiful, simply take a second besides up this sport. From the second the digicam panned down on the Solar-Speckled Terrace and the whimsical music stuffed my headphones, I knew Pikmin 4 was going to comb me off my ft, no matter its overly cheerful beats.
There have been many instances after I took in my environment and thought, “How is a game this gorgeous running on my Switch?”
In case you love Pikmin, you’ll love Pikmin 4. It solely improves on the franchise’s tried and true system. Your entire favourite Pikmin return and even a few new ones squeak their method in. It’s undoubtedly the perfect entry within the franchise, albeit a bit too merry.
Whereas it may be a bit exposition heavy to start out, you’re rapidly handed the reigns to your individual rescue journey. In case you’ve by no means performed Pikmin, 4 is nearly as good a spot to start out as any. And hopefully, if given an opportunity, the Swap will enable Pikmin 4 the highlight it deserves.
Pikmin 4 is the fruits of 20 years of area rescues and treasure looking. It’s the definitive entry within the franchise, and it must be performed.
|+ Beautiful visuals and a lovely soundtrack|
|+ Tons of enhancements to an already incredible system|
|+ Accessibility choices that make the sport extra approachable|
|– Story doesn’t really feel as dire as previous titles|
|-/+ Components is fairly an identical to earlier Pikmin video games|
Gamepur crew obtained a Nintendo Swap code for the aim of this evaluation.